Think of coral reefs as the rainforests of the oceans, since most marine life rely on them for survival. Many coastal communities also depend on this coral reef ecosystems for their main source of food and livelihood hence the more need to save them from their imminent depletion. Below are the many ways you can help save the coral reefs:
Environmental Conservation Efforts
Simple daily practices like conserving water, choosing sustainable seafood, following the 3R’s (reduce, recycle, reuse), avoiding illegal fishing methods and educating yourself on the amazing facts about coral reefs will have a positive effect in lowering the mortality rates of corals.
Being at the forefront in the battle to reduce carbon emissions will especially help save the coral reefs. This can be done by using long lasting light bulbs, switching to eco-friendly household products, investing in clean energy and planting more trees.
By using public transport, walking, carpooling or cycling instead of driving you to play a huge role in reducing the global carbon footprint. Replace harmful household & garden products with eco-friendly ones that are phosphate and chlorine-free is also another way to curb climate change.
Pesticides and fertilizers will cause an unwanted excessive growth of algae if they find their way into the watershed and thus should be disposed responsibly or replaced with organic types.
If you are an aquarium hobbyist, tools like the Tank Watch app can help you identify captive-bred fish which is an ongoing initiative to conserve the coral reef ecosystems. Reckless destruction of coral reef structures either through destructive fishing methods or intentional collection of the specimens should be heavily discouraged.
To help save the coral reefs, you can report companies or individuals you know have been dumping chemical wastes in water bodies to the local authorities immediately.
Promoting reef-friendly businesses that are active in saving the coral reef is also a move in the right direction. Responsible tourism must be practiced at all times which means that you avoid touching, collecting or even buying coral reefs, always taking care not to damage corals when diving or snorkeling and carrying out responsible fishing.
You should also avoid developing property along the shores since the resulting sediment ends up hurting or burying the coral reefs.
Volunteer Work and Donations
Saving the coral reefs requires a lot of funding geared towards research, monitoring and development of solutions to make corals more resilient to climate change. Most shores are littered with trash which is very problematic to coral reef systems.
Therefore you can volunteer to pick up garbage left at the beach. Volunteering in programs by the coral reef conservation organizations like the Coral Reef Alliance, the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation and the Reef Relief among others also goes a long way in helping out.
The same goes to making donations to these organizations as most of them run fully on donations.
Spread the Word
The fight to protect our coral reefs can only be achieved with strength in numbers, therefore, you can share the information you learn about coral reefs and encourage others to take part in saving them.
This can include calling up the local area representative to inquire about the measures being taken towards saving this natural wonders.
Taking a stand through peaceful protests can also expedite MPA policies on affected coral reef regions.